Amazon expands publishing arm with Montlake Romance

Amazon LogoThe hearts of lovers of romantic fiction will be a flutter with the news that Amazon has created a new imprint called Montlake Romance, which, as its name suggests, will be publishing a range of novels designed to sweep even the most unromantic of souls off their feet.

The latest addition to Amazon’s growing list of imprints joins AmazonEncore, AmazonCrossing and Powered by Amazon, and is the latest indication of how serious the online giant is about getting more deeply involved in the world of publishing.

The announcement came on Wednesday in a statement released by the Seattle-based company. Montlake Romance’s debut title will be The Other Guy’s Bride by bestselling author Connie Brockway, to be published in the fall of this year.

In the statement, Jeff Belle, vice president of Amazon Publishing, said: “Romance is one of our biggest and fastest growing categories, particularly among Kindle customers….we also know our customers enjoy genre fiction of all kinds, so we are busy building publishing businesses that will focus on additional genres as well.” Montlake Romance intends to explore the romance sub-genres too, such as suspense, historic, fantasy and paranormal.

Amazon’s news could, however, cause some relationship difficulties with other publishers worried about the online bookstore’s growing participation in the publishing business. In a Wall Street Journal report, an unnamed New York publishing executive said of Amazon: “They can push their writers to the front and they have a decade of genre purchaser information.” Jeff Belle disagrees, believing that overall its publishing business will help authors to sell more books.

Amazon will be making Montlake Romance books available to North American consumers online in Kindle, print and audio formats, as well as at national and independent booksellers. So how will readers take to the new line of books from Amazon? The e-commerce company will certainly be hoping it’ll be a match made in heaven rather than a brief affair that ends in disaster.